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Project Management - How To Develop Your Key Success Secrets
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Learn to develop a sound platform of good reliable habits that are repeatable for each project you do. Follow these key areas and watch your Projects go on to one success after another.

Listen, Think, Act - The art of giving and taking criticism in a professional way is an essential quality for a good Project Manager to nurture and develop. To be able to give criticism is without a doubt a skill worth having. To carry it out without upsetting the team will help keep moral high and also help you to gain a higher level of respect.

Of course the feedback you make must be constructive, never make it personal and always back up your points with examples to prove your point. A good exercise to strengthen your ability around receiving criticism is to put yourself in the other persons position. How would you react ? How should you react ?

Accept and Plan for change - Change is an inevitable part of the Project Managers work. No matter how well you plan or mitigate, you will always come against unforeseen or issues out-with your control. In order to allow for these, an experienced Project Manager will always look to build in a certain level of contingency when constructing their plan. Otherwise the Project Manager risks having a continual stream of change controls to put before the Project Board. This will undermine confidence in the Project Manager.

There is also a strong need for a robust change control process. Firstly, identify the who, what , where and why etc. of change. Next, build these factors into a clear process for taking change controls through the validation, impact and finally on to approval stages of a change control process.

At start up... Remember the tortoise and the hare story - Take your time early on in the project, there is plenty evidence to show that in the end it saves time, (and cost), later on. Understand the user first, define and agree the requirements, secure the correct team, get your design right.

Risks & Issues - Know the difference and review regularly - Constant monitoring and reports will keep you aware of potential issues on the horizon. Don’t put off dealing with risks and issues. If you defer, delay and let them linger, Risks and Issues will return to haunt you. Always face issues head on and investigate mitigating actions and look for solutions. Communicate and make sure risk owners and resolvers are clear on expectations and timescales.

No waffling allowed - The ability to make decisions is a key skill for the Project Manager. You cannot afford to sit on the fence. The main reason for this is obvious, your team looks to you for direction, lead from the front and they will follow. Indecision shows a lack of control that must be avoided. So how do you develop this skill ? Through experience, be prepared to make decisions, this is a learning process and this skill comes with time and experience.

Keep your sense of perspective - It is important to maintain a sense of humor Inevitably things will go wrong, you cannot control every outcome. Learn to give yourself a break now and then. If you find something going wrong have a pressure relief valve to let off steam. Laugh, walk or take a break, then when you come back more often than not you will find a clearer mind gives you the edge to think creatively and figure out a solution. Remember, your health should always be a priority, your well-being and peace of mind needs you to have a healthy sense of humor.

Feeling Lonely ? - let’s have a meeting ! - A Project Manager must be effective at conducting meetings. It is very frustrating to attend meetings that turn out to be sessions to complain or moan, that never run to time and basically waste precious project time. You should always agree objectives and terms of reference for meetings and have pertinent agenda items. Key to a successful meeting is having the correct attendee’s. Have people there with authority to make decisions or have the delegated authority. The ideal is to reach agreement and decisions at the meeting which all attendees can uphold.

Everyone knows about Time, Cost, Quality (TCQ) - Which one takes priority ! - People often refer to time and budget as the key deliverables of a successful project. However, the third and often forgotten key of success is Quality. There is no point delivering under budget on time if what is being delivered is of poor quality. It is incumbent on the Project Manager to have a quality assurance process in place at each key milestone on the critical path, including regular checks with the client, users and stakeholders,

Trust your team to do their job - Always be aware of the dangers of Micro managing. You chose these people on your team, you need to show a level of trust. Share information and critical tasks, it shows a level of confidence in your team. The Project Manager should always be open and sharing, never secretive. If the team see the Project Manager keeping crucial tasks to himself it will look as if the Project Manager does not trust the team to deliver.

No matter new or how long you have been doing Project Management for, there is always more to learn and different project situations to experience. You can always pick up plenty of secrets and tips like those to be found in the Art of Successful Project Management. Best Wishes and every success with your Projects !


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